Social media management is integral to any organization operating in the digital age.
Successful social media management is not only beneficial to for-profit brands and businesses, but also has certain benefits that are specific to nonprofit organizations. For one, using social media to reach your goals can be a cost-effective way of increasing visibility and online exposure for nonprofits without a large budget. Areas such as engagement, interaction, fundraising, campaigns, and other initiatives can be substantially improved using social media. Popular platforms such as Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and LinkedIn should be consistently managed and kept up-to-date for optimal outcomes.
As far as statistics go, the numbers agree with the importance of social media management for nonprofits. In a Campaign Monitor survey related to nonprofits and email marketing campaigns, they found that almost 40% of all participants reported finding the nonprofits they donate to through Facebook. According to Nonprofit Source, around 18% of all those who have donated worldwide have used Facebook fundraising tools as a method of giving. That being said, Facebook is not the only social media platform that is useful for fundraising or for helping nonprofit organizations expand their reach and hit their goals. On Twitter, about 55% of users who have an interaction with a nonprofit end up taking some kind of action. Meanwhile, Instagram is used to spread awareness and increase donations by roughly 30% of nonprofit organizations. No matter if you have a small or large budget available, social media can help you connect with a target audience, focus on the mission of your organization, and better convey your message.
The Best Social Media Management Tools and Resources
When it comes to social media management, there is no need to shell out a large amount of money to be successful and effective. While many social media management tools do cost money, there are also several free or inexpensive options that can be helpful. The list below provides more information on some of the top social media management tools for nonprofits.
One of the more popular social media management platforms, HootSuite, has a free version that allows you to manage up to 3 different social media profiles, from the same or different social media platforms, at a time. With any profile you connect, you will be able to plan and schedule up to 30 social media posts in advance. Another fantastic feature that HootSuite has is its dashboard, which allows you to keep track of specific social media sites or certain elements of social media sites. For example, you can set up a section that shows you whenever someone on Twitter mentions your organization, a particular keyword, or a hashtag that you specify. You can also see your social media accounts’ homepages laid out next to each other, allowing you to save time switching between websites or apps.
While HootSuite is great for bulk-scheduling posts, it has limited collaboration options, which is why Airtable is an excellent option to use for organizations that frequently work with others. Airtable boasts interactive spreadsheets, social media planning templates, and other organizational resources for creating concepts, ideas, and content. This website organizes everything to make it easy and effortless to work with other organizations, brands, and people to create content. Airtable has a variety of templates to help with organization, management, creativity, and more. It’s a great tool for planning out the specifics of certain posts or going in-depth with brainstorming.
Another website with great free features is SocialOomph. Although the free version only allows you to connect with Twitter, you will be able to use all of the features available for Twitter, such as scheduling an unlimited number of Tweets, checking direct messages, tracking keywords, etc. This platform may be a useful resource for an organization that specifically wants to become more engaged on Twitter. You can connect other social media accounts to SocialOomph, although you will have to pay a monthly subscription fee to do so.
Not only does Buffer have a blog with many helpful tips and advice, but they also have tools on their platform to make scheduling as simple as possible. They have a browser extension that you can install to quickly save any content that you come across to reshare or use later, and allows you to retweet content on Twitter in a more balanced way by slowly dispersing retweets throughout the day instead of all at once. Buffer is free for up to one person on their Individual plan, although connecting to Pinterest or adding more team members requires upgrading. Luckily, they have a nonprofit discount of 50% off all of their plans for 501(c)3 organizations!
If you are looking for a platform to help you find influencers to collaborate with or are looking for insights, BuzzSumo is a great addition to your digital toolbox. Plans start at $79 per month, but like Buffer, they offer discounts for nonprofit organizations. On BuzzSumo, there are a variety of tools that can help you test out which content will perform better and analyze your social media and the social media of your competitors, as well as get content alerts to help you stay on top of the game.
Strategies and Tactics
Along with using different apps, tools, and websites to manage social media, it’s also crucial to use a variety of strategies, tactics, and techniques. Listed below are some of the key areas to focus on when working on social media management.
Staying consistent on social media can be challenging, which is why some of the resources, platforms, and websites mentioned earlier can come in handy. Posting and sharing content can become much easier with the right tools, and has many benefits. One study even found that organizations who are consistent in promoting their brand have around a 33% increase in revenue! It’s also important to remember to find a balance between posting too much content online and not posting enough, as posting too frequently may overwhelm or annoy users.
Building and maintaining interactions
Another thing to remember is to focus on user interaction, in order to build a dedicated following, increase engagement, and maintain good relationships with anyone interested in or associated with your organization. This can be done by resharing user-generated content, responding to comments and messages, and including your target audience in your posts. Features such as polls, interactive questions, etc. can be useful in building and maintaining relationships across different social media platforms.
An important, but sometimes overlooked, element of successful social media management is visuals. It has been shown time and time again that content, articles, and posts containing imagery perform better. On Twitter alone, adding visuals to Tweets garners an average of 18% more click-throughs, 150% more retweets, and 89% more likes! The good news is that you don’t have to hire a professional photographer to get images for your posts. There are a multitude of websites that offer free-to-use stock photos (we at Nonprofit Growth make use of the free image libraries at Unsplash), and other websites where you can design graphics for free, such as Canva.
Analyzing and Adapting
Along with implementing a variety of strategies and tactics, make sure to regularly analyze your posts, campaigns, and interactions to see what you can be doing better. Whether you decide to use software to help analyze your content for you or look into your insights yourself, measuring the effectiveness of what you are doing will allow you to adapt your strategies and improve your social media outcomes. Being mindful of your audience demographics, responses to past campaigns, and overall trends in your sector can help you improve your overall social media management strategy.
When working on social media management, you do not have to be an expert to reach your goals. Whether you are looking to increase engagement, drive more donations to your organization, or build a stronger community of engaged followers, there are many things you can do. From utilizing tools that make it easier to manage your social media, such as HootSuite, Airtable, or Buzzsumo, to implementing strategies and tactics that work for your organization, managing social media does not have to be extremely difficult. Remember to remain consistent with posting, focus on fostering a community, use visuals when possible, and analyze and adapt your content and tactics as you go.
Remember, even content that does not perform as well as you would have liked can be helpful. Failed campaigns or content can teach you what does and doesn’t work, and how to post better content in the future.